Six Steps to a Smiling Pet
There are few things better than being greeted with a smile. Thankfully, if you have a pet, you get a smile almost every time you walk in the door. At Deceased Pet Care, we wanted to honor National Pet Dental Month by improving our pet’s smiles. This time, we’re talking both pet dental care and ways to just make them smile more. Who wouldn’t want an extra grin in the their day?
Step One - Pay Close Attention
Your pet says a lot with their smile (or lack of it). Pets communicate primarily through body language, and their mouths can speak volumes. However, it’s usually impossible to tell if your pet is experiencing pain or dental issues just from the outside. Every now and then you have to take a closer look.
Step Two- Know Where to Look
Due to the conditions inside your dog and cat’s mouth, cavities are very unlikely. However, almost 80 percent of pets experience some form of gum disease by age three. Those are staggering numbers. Without care, this gum disease can lead to pain and irritability. Now that we know it happens, let’s talk about what to look for.
Step Three - Know What to Look For.
One of the best indicators of dental/oral problems with your pet is bad breath. Halitosis is one of the first signs and easiest to recognize. Periodontal disease takes many forms, other signs include, but are not limited to: a refusal to eat, mouth pain or sensitivity, excessive drooling, red or puffy gums, tartar, dropping food while eating, or only chewing on one side of the mouth.
If you notice one or more of these signs in your pet, it’s best to schedule a meeting with your pet as soon as possible. Keep a weekly check up and take notes. Your vet is best when he/she is most informed.
Step Four - Clean and Maintain
After an initial visit and cleaning with your vet, you can start the maintenance process. But, if we’re honest, taking care of our pet’s teeth probably hasn’t been our top priority in the past. That’s okay, it’s never too late to start. But also know adjusting to a regular cleaning schedule will take some adjusting for you and your pet too. Start slow by brushing once a week and slowly build to three times a week. Spend some time with your pet, allowing them to adjust to your hands in and around their mouth. Don’t be worried if they don’t immediately take to the process. It could take weeks or even months to form a habit.
Step Five - Do Little Things
If you don’t think you’ll be able to regularly commit to a dental schedule for your pet, do the next best things and ensure the food they eat helps with healthy oral hygiene. Look for dental approved foods. Buy some teeth cleaning snacks, and give them a bone or toy to chew on in their free time. There are a myriad of products to help your pet’s oral health without brushing. So although nothing can replace dedicated time for owner initiated oral care, do the next best thing and provide your pet with as many opportunities for a clean and healthy mouth as possible.
Step Six - Just Make Them Smile
In reality, if you follow these steps there’s no way your pet’s day (and smile) won’t be a little bit brighter. Our pets know when we care for them, they feel our concern, and they appreciate the time and effort we spend with them. The moments spent caring for our pet’s mouths create a deeper bond than just leaving it be.
It’s simple, but if one part of our body is off, the whole thing usually feels off. Your pet is no different. Take a little extra time, and care for that smile. We’re sure they’ve given you a few smiles of your own.
At Deceased Pet Care, we know that no detail and no action is too small. When pets are part of the family, we care for them and want every bit of them to be as healthy as possible. It doesn’t matter if your pet is ten days old, or ten years. It’s never too late to start celebrating National Pet Dental Month with a smile.